Monday, August 18, 2008

Stump Being Questioned at the Office

He had been asked, he felt, too many questions already. That she had just asked him another question, then, seemed profoundly unjust. Terrible things ran through his mind. He couldn’t even bare to look at the woman as he made his clipped, seething response. That must be it, he thought hopefully to himself. It was not.

Stump had been working in an office for several months now. His responsibilities were limited, and he rarely had to interact with anyone. People would occasionally ask him a question, but the infrequency of these questions was such that he could write them off as minor inconveniences to his otherwise uninterrupted indolence.

For the last three days, though, a woman had followed him about interminably asking questions. It was as if she were chronicling not only all the events that took place within the office, but all the events that had ever taken place and that could possibly ever take place in the office. Stump had reached a point, however, where no question, whether about the office’s history, present, or future, would be answered. He would not, he told himself, suffer this woman a moment longer.

He turned to her – his eyes carefully avoiding hers – and said: I don’t believe I’ll answer any more of your questions today. The woman looked at him for a moment and then smiled: Oh yeah? He did not say anything, but instead shook his head. She laughed, and then asked him another question. Stump, coward that he is, responded.

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